Non-Executive Director X 3

Job Title: Non-Executive Director X 3
Contract Type: Permanent
Location: Purley
Salary: 0 - 0
Reference: The Collegiate Trust
Contact Name: Academy Ambassadors
Contact Email:
Job Published: February 22, 2019 10:36

Job Description

The Collegiate Trust

The Collegiate Trust has six academies across Croydon and Crawley supporting over 4000 pupils. It seeks three non-executive directors with senior finance, HR or legal experience to join the board and supports these schools after a period of rapid growth. Board meetings are held in Purley.

About the trust

The Collegiate Trust has grown from two to six academies across Croydon and Crawley in the last year, and is now delivering high quality learning to over 4000 pupils and students, employing almost 600 staff and with an annual income of almost £22m. The trust’s schools range from the largest and one of the most successful secondaries in Croydon through to small Primary schools and a unit for children with autistic spectrum disorder.

The Schools

  • Riddlesdown Collegiate is an Outstanding school (OFSTED, May 2016), the largest and one of the most successful secondaries in Croydon and the wider area. With almost 2000 students, including a large and successful sixth form, this academy operates an innovative and well-established small schools model, delivering high quality care, support and learning for every student.
  • Gossops Green is a 3-form entry primary school in Crawley which joined The Collegiate Trust on 1st November 2016. The school has 565 children on roll and plans to grow to 630 over the next 5 years. Standards are rising rapidly with improvements at Key Stage 2 in 2017 outstripping those locally and nationally.
  • The Quest Academy joined the Trust on 1st June 2018 and is an 11-18 academy.
  • Courtwood Primary is a 1-form entry school that joined The Collegiate Trust on 1st September 2018. Alongside the excellent mainstream provision they also have high quality enhanced learning provision to support a small number of children with autistic spectrum disorder.
  • Gilbert Scott Primary is a 1-form entry school that joined The Collegiate Trust on 1st September 2018.
  • Waterfield Primary School is a 3-11 two-form entry school in Crawley.


Plans for the future

The key challenges for the board over the next 12-24 months are:

  1. Consolidation: after a period of rapid growth the trust is now working to embed its structures and systems and requires long-term sustainable governance and leadership capability.
  2. Performance: the trust is working to raise standards across all schools and particularly the schools it has taken on that Ofsted judge to be ‘requires Improvement’. Strengthening teaching and learning throughout all academies and improving collaboration between all academies are the priorities.
  3. Governance: as part of consolidation the trust seeks to strengthen the trust board and the local governing bodies at each school. This aims to both fulfill all key governance roles and build capacity for potential future growth.


Finance, catering, IT and other systems are managed across the schools. The trust is building on this to develops its shared services and implement trust-wide systems.

After consolidation, The Collegiate Trust will look at bringing additional schools into the trust - particularly another Secondary School in the Crawley area.

Trust ethos & values

The Collegiate Trust exists to improve education in Croydon, Crawley and the surrounding areas for children and young people up to the age of 19. The Trust is building a partnership of academies for all ages, which will work collaboratively to deliver on the motto of ‘Exceptional Education For All’. The trust values both academic learning and progress and the development of wider skills and qualities in young people. That is demonstrated in an active programme of activity to develop young people ready for their next step in the world along with creative, cultural and active learning.

Role summary

Number of positions advertised:


Roles 1-3: Trustee/Non-Executive Director

Trustees – or non-executive directors - are both charity trustees and company directors of the academy trust; the role is to hold to account the executive and senior leadership team. The board of trustees manages the business of the academy trust and may exercise all the powers of the trust. The trustees ensure compliance with the trust’s charitable objects and with company and charity law.


The trust would expect all of its Members and Directors to get to know each of the academies through formal and informal visits. However, the key functions of Members and Directors are carried out through formal meetings.

Person specification:

The Board of Directors has a good range of experience within and beyond the education sector; as they appoint new Directors they are looking to consider individuals with expertise in one or more of the following:

Role 1:


  • CFO/ Finance
  • Accountancy qualification


  • CEO/General Management
  • Risk
  • Audit
  • Corporate Governance

CFO/Finance: The Trust welcomes applicants with a senior finance background, with an ACA or CIMA qualification. The Trust has a healthy budget/reserves and the role is to provide broad strategic guidance and oversight. The successful applicant would be required to join the Finance Committee, which usually meets early evenings before the main board.

Role 2:


  • Human Resources


  • CEO/General Management

HR: the successful candidate is likely to be an HR Director with board-level strategic experience of change and a broad range of experience from a professional career in HR. They will understand what it takes to lead a ‘people’ organisation where the success of the schools is dependent upon recruiting, retaining and engaged talented staff. They will be comfortable across a range of activity – from looking at strategy and organisational design to performance management and, for example, occasionally joining grievance or other HR panels. It would be desirable for the candidate to be comfortable handling large amounts of data and interested in joining the trust’s proposed new Standards Committee.

Role 3:


  • Legal/Compliance


  • Risk
  • Corporate Governance

Legal/Compliance: applicants will have significant experience within the legal sector, with demonstrable knowledge of employment law and the ability to make informed decisions and carry out due diligence. Evidence of managing risk at advising at a strategic level is desirable.

Time commitment

Six hours per month minimum.

Non-executive Directors/Trustees meet at least six times each year, usually at around 6.30pm. New board members will additionally sit on either the Audit & Finance Committee, or the proposed Standards Committee.

Location of board meetings and trust website

Board meetings are held at Honister Heights, Purley, Surrey, CR8 1EX.

Please see


Governance structure

Please see


Background on academy trusts

Academy schools, which are charities run independently of local authority control, now account for 74% of secondary schools and 31% of primaries – and their number is growing all the time.

Many of these schools are grouped together as multi-academy trusts (MATs). There are currently 832 multi academy trusts of 3+ schools. If the schools are to fulfil their potential, the trusts need non-executives (known in charity law as trustees) to bring a wide range of skills and experience to help guide strategy, ensure their ambitions can be soundly financed and keep their schools up to the mark delivering for their pupils.

“Academy boards must be ambitious for all children and young people and infused with a passion for education and a commitment to continuous school improvement that enables the best possible outcomes. Governance must be grounded in reality as defined by both high-quality objective data and a full understanding of the views and needs of pupils/students, staff, parents, carers and local communities. It should be driven by inquisitive, independent minds and through conversations focused on the key strategic issues which are conducted with humility, good judgement, resilience and determination.” 
Source: Governance Handbook, Department for Education (2017)


Trusteeship is a voluntary, unpaid role for people who have the energy and skills to make a real contribution to shaping the future of the schools. You do not need to have any specialist knowledge of education. 


Academy Ambassadors is a non-profit programme which recruits senior business leaders and professionals as volunteer non-executive directors onto the boards of multi-academy trusts. If you are interested in applying for the role please send your CV and a short expression of interest detailing which role you are applying for to Please note: candidates should live within reasonable travelling distance of the trust and/or have a link with the region. For more information, please call 0207 952 8556 or visit

Key dates

We strongly recommend applying as early as you can to have the best possible chance of being considered as we may change the closing date if we have received sufficient applications. Applicants should be aware of the following key dates in the recruitment process –


Deadline for applications: Friday 22nd March 2019


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